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How to Roll the Perfect Joint

Roll up to the function with out-of-this world rolling skills

close up of a man's hands preparing marihuana joint
Westend61Getty Images

Although there are plenty of cool weed gadgets on the market, joints remain one of the cheapest — and timeless — ways to ingest cannabis. Not only that, joints are portable (no need to bring a backpack housing a bong) and an entry-level way to get into weed (No need to know the difference between convection and conduction with rolling a joint).

There are many ways to roll a joint, but this is the standard pinner, or cylinder, method. Keep it up, and you’ll light up the joint with your joint rolling skills.

What Is a Joint?

A joint is cannabis rolled up in a thin rolling paper made of hemp, rice straw, wood pulp or flax. One end of the joint is lit with fire (usually from a lighter) and the cannabis is ingested through inhaling from the non-lit end. Joints are not to be confused with its brethren, spliffs (a roll filled with a cannabis-tobacco mix) and blunts (a roll with cannabis inside of a cigar wrapper made of tobacco).

What You’ll Need

  • Cannabis of your choice
  • Grinder
  • Rolling Papers
  • Tamping stick, pen or other object to help pack the joint
  • Lighter
  • Crutch/tip/filter (optional)
  • Rolling Tray (optional)

    How to Roll a Joint

    Step 1: Grind Your Flower

    cbd oil medical marijuana
    Rocky89Getty Images

    Break down your cannabis into an herb-like consistency: think oregano. A good grinder will easily do the trick, but you can also use your fingers or scissors. However, a grinder allows for even consistency, which will equal an even burn.

    Step 2 (Optional): Make and Add Your Crutch

    pink filter tips
    Blazy Susan
    raw tips

    A crutch, also known as a tip or filter, can be made out of a sturdy piece of paper (think thick cardboard or a business card) or bought from a head shop or tobacco store. Reusable crutches are usually made out of wood, silicone, glass or ceramic. Crutches prevent you from burning your lips or fingertips, add stability to the joint and let you enjoy it to the very last puff. Crutches also prevent you from getting "Scooby snacks," which is when you inhale cannabis plant material.

    If you’re using a paper or cardboard crutch, start with some accordion folds, and then roll to the desired thickness. Add it to the end of the rolling paper at the “gutter” before adding your cannabis.

    If you’re looking for crutch recommendations, try these from Blazy Susan or pre-rolled ones from Raw.

    Step 3: Fill 'Er Up

    sackville rolling paper
    Sackville & Co.

    The ratio of weed to rolling paper is usually one-third to one-half a gram of weed to a single one-and-a-quarter-inch wide rolling paper (also abbreviated as 1 1/4, the most common rolling paper size). The larger the rolling paper, the more weed you’ll use. Fold the rolling paper into a V-shape, making a little gutter. Evenly distribute the cannabis into the rolling paper, making sure not to overstuff it. If you want to make a cone-shaped joint, add less flower toward the crutch and more flower toward the other end, and roll on a diagonal.

    Want to up your rolling game with fun papers? Try these printed ones from Flower by Edie Parker and these blue rolling papers from Sackville & Co. You can also get flavored rolling papers to really jazz it up.

    Step 4: Roll Your Joint

    van der pop calla multi tool
    Tokyo Smoke

    With the adhesive-coated side facing you, pinch the paper between your thumb and your index finger and roll it back and forth to pack the cannabis into a cylindrical or cone shape. Then, tuck the non-adhesive side over the weed and roll it up toward the adhesive side, keeping the shape as you go. Wet the adhesive, starting at the mouthpiece end, to seal the joint.

    Use a tamping stick (we like this one that comes with the Van der Pop Calla Multi-Tool by Tokyo Smoke), pen, chopstick or something similar (shoelace tip from your sneakers) to pack down the cannabis toward the mouthpiece. If you lost weed while rolling your joint, now is the time to add it back in.

    Step 5: Finish Your Joint and Enjoy!

    hand holding a spliff in a sunny home environment with a cannabis plant casting a shadow onto wooden table
    Catherine Falls CommercialGetty Images

    Twist the excess paper at the tip of the joint. Spark up the other end with a lighter and inhale through the other. Enjoy with friends or by yourself.

    Tips for Perfecting Your Joint

    1. Thicker paper makes for an easier roll. Start out with hemp and move to thinner varieties once you get comfortable. Same with size: don’t start out with a king-sized paper.
    2. Take your time. Does the cannabis look even? Is the roll to your liking before you lick? Evaluating your joint as you go can save you time and papers.
    3. No need to hock a full-on loogie when licking the adhesive. Just a little moisture will seal your joint and prevent it from getting soggy.
    4. Prevent "canoeing" (when one side of the joint burns more quickly than the rest) by slowly rotating the joint while lighting it.
    5. Practice makes perfect. No one was born a master roller.

      A world of possibilities opens once you nail rolling. Venture into spliffs or blunts to get a buzzy rush of nicotine; get crazy with forms like cross joints or braided joints; coat the paper with kief to get higher. Worst-case scenario, you can always find some cute cones — pre-rolled papers with crutches — to stuff with cannabis if you decide rolling isn’t your jam.

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